Learning while caring at Veterans Memorial Lodge

Guest author Heather Parry, Board Member and former Board Chair

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying: Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” At Broadmead Care we know the long term benefits of providing hands-on learning for people training to work in healthcare.

We have all heard about the ongoing staffing crisis in health care. Here at Broadmead Care our Homes have been working diligently to find the best people to care for your loved ones. In order to be part of the solution, Broadmead Care is providing a great place for future healthcare professionals to gain practical training that will complement the classroom programs offered by various learning institutions such as Camosun College, Sprott-Shaw College, and the University of Victoria.

 “By offering spaces for healthcare workers to gain essential practical skills, we hope to be part of the solution to improve healthcare. In addition, we hope that our trainees will get to know us here at Broadmead Care and – if it’s a good fit for them – consider staying with us permanently,” says Janet Power, Care Home Director, Veterans Memorial Lodge. Janet adds that in order for Broadmead Care to be a Centre of Excellence it must have an educational component. “It’s a great investment because we do a lot of hiring from our students.”

“Our students become an important source of new permanent staff and by assessing our students we can provide important feedback to learning institutions about their curriculums,” confirms Denise May, Vice President Human Resources. “Besides the many students who come to us from learning institutions on Vancouver Island, we actively participate in a fairly new provincially funded program called HCAP (Health Care Aide Program) which identifies and funds new healthcare support workers throughout their training. So far we have supported 64 students through HCAP and our vacancy rate for healthcare aides has dropped dramatically. This directly improves how we can take care of our residents and families.”

Maddie, a student at Camosun College, spends time giving a manicure to a resident.

Maddison Manns is a third year kinesiology student from Camosun College who works 14 hours per week as an Activity Worker at Veterans Memorial Lodge. “I love to get to know people and to hear their stories. I know how important activity and movement is to overall wellbeing. An activity and sense of community can change a person’s happiness very quickly,” shared Maddie. Maddie explains that she gets as much back from her time with residents and that it supports what she has learned in the classroom. “It is good to learn how the body moves as people age. Bowling and dancing are always a big hit. I’m a dancer and dancing with residents has really reignited my dancing brain.”

Besides the more formal programs for students, our volunteer program is always looking for student volunteers who might want to gain some experience in supporting seniors. It’s a great way to get volunteer hours and to be part of the Broadmead Care community.

Click here to learn more about student programs and volunteering opportunities at one of our Broadmead Care Homes.